USB Killers Explained
It can be seen that USB sticks or Flash Drives are mostly used at present for data storing and sharing. Although this is a useful device it makes the way to spread the malware among other devices. Most of these malware programs can be detected by anti-virus software. However, do you know that a Pen drive can break down physical circuitry of a computer system?
What is a USB Killer?
USB Killer is a USB stick specially implemented to break down physical circuitry of a computers when connects it through USB port by generating a high voltage. But there we cannot see a malware, instead of that there is a high voltage inverter circuit to cause the damage.
More than 95% USB devices in the modern world can be damaged by this USB Killer according to the cyber security analysts. Most important thing is that if you have a enough knowledge about this field, you can design this kind of a device very easily. And also, these are available in web stores like https://usbkill.com/ .
How They Work?
Physical appearance of a USB Killer is almost same as a USB stick. Inside a USB killer, it can be seen some capacitors which are interconnected. These capacitors have made the high voltage inverter for the huge damage.
Usually, USB types support for output voltage of 5V and output current of 0.5V except USB type -c. After connecting USB killer to a computer or another USB interface, capacitors are charged up to 200V using the inverter using input voltage of 5V by USB port. Then this voltage will suddenly go down for -200V to -240V. Due to this huge voltage change, USB interfaces and also motherboard can be damaged.
How to prevent from a USB Killer?
It’s hard to identify a USB killer and a typical USB stick separately from outside. So, it’s better to see the interior structure. In a USB killer it cannot be found an output wire but interconnected capacitors can be seen.
The damage causes from USB killer for USB interface through high voltages can be avoided by a USB Cap driver. If you are genius in electronics you can design a better circuit to prevent the damage using a varistor or an optocoupler. Since Apple is using a preventive circuit made up of optocoupler for their MAC PCs and iPhones, there is no huge threat for them.
However, think wisely before connecting external devices into your computer as it can prevent unexpected threats, instead of setting solutions for the damages.